Healthcare-acquired infections (HCAI) can develop as a result of healthcare interventions such as medical or surgical treatment, or from the interactions with healthcare staff and facilities. The ability to treat these infections is becoming increasingly problematic as the overuse of antibiotics to date has caused common pathogenic microorganisms to develop mechanisms for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The rapid spread of these drug resistant microorganisms has caused traditional antimicrobial agents to become less effective. Chronic infections require long term therapeutic solutions and drug delivery devices that can be implanted or used as patches have the potential to reduce to deliver the dose of the drug in a sustained and controlled manner over extended periods, while eliminating the risk of patient non-compliance in taking oral medications. Moreover, these site-specific implantation techniques can circumvent systemic toxicity issues and result in a higher concentration of drug at the target site.
There are several implantable drug delivery devices on the market today, however these are manufactured using non-biodegradable polymers which would need surgical removal once the reservoir is exhausted. The use of biodegradable polymers would bypass the requirement for surgical removal. Additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing and electrospinning are promising in the development of highly controlled formulations which can be individualised to specific patients.